Lesson 32: Intervals of the Major Scale

Category: Lessons, Music Theory

Now it’s time to learn the intervals of the major scale. Just to mix it up, lets use the G major scale. Do you remember how to write a major scale? If you don’t, look here.

Here is the G major scale. As you can see, the G major scale has one sharp: F sharp. I put a lot of effort into this graphic, I might make it my facebook profile picture.

I’ll spend a few minutes explaing myself. In a major scale, there are 8 intervals based on the tonic note. The intervals are: perfect unison, major second, major third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, major sixth, major seventh, and perfect octave.  (The above graphic does not show perfect unison.) If you remember, during the introduction to intervals lesson, I mention that each interval has a quality. The quality of basic intervals can be major, minor, or perfect. More advanced intervals can be described as augmented or diminished. We are focusing on the major intervals in this lesson.

You might be asking yourself: Why are some of the intervals described as “major”, while others are described as “perfect”? Well, there are several reasons that are floating around. One reason is that the “perfect” intervals have high levels of consonance.  The other reason is that if you invert a perfect interval you’ll end up with another (different) perfect interval. But I would like to think that a perfect interval is called perfect because it cannot be described as either major or minor. Perfect intervals exist in BOTH major and minor scales. But I’m not going to discuss minor scales right now – gotta keep you coming back now, don’t I?

Posted on October 19th, 2011 by sharlene


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